IMDb > Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Midnight Cowboy
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Midnight Cowboy (1969) More at IMDbPro »

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Midnight Cowboy -- A naive male prostitute and his sickly friend struggle to survive on the streets of New York City.


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8.0/10   63,901 votes »
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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Waldo Salt (screenplay)
James Leo Herlihy (based on the novel by)
View company contact information for Midnight Cowboy on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 June 1969 (Brazil) See more »
Whatever you hear about Midnight Cowboy is true. See more »
A naive male prostitute and his sickly friend struggle to survive on the streets of New York City. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won 3 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 12 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Much better than expected See more (311 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Dustin Hoffman ... Ratso

Jon Voight ... Joe Buck

Sylvia Miles ... Cass

John McGiver ... Mr. O'Daniel

Brenda Vaccaro ... Shirley

Barnard Hughes ... Towny

Ruth White ... Sally Buck - Texas

Jennifer Salt ... Annie - Texas
Gilman Rankin ... Woodsy Niles - Texas (as Gil Rankin)

Gary Owens ... Little Joe - Texas
T. Tom Marlow ... Little Joe - Texas
George Eppersen ... Ralph - Texas
Al Scott ... Cafeteria Manager - Texas
Linda Davis ... Mother on the Bus - Texas
J.T. Masters ... Old Cow-Hand - Texas
Arlene Reeder ... The Old Lady - Texas

Georgann Johnson ... Rich Lady - New York
Jonathan Kramer ... Jackie - New York
Anthony Holland ... TV Bishop - New York

Bob Balaban ... The Young Student - New York
Jan Tice ... Freaked-Out Lady - New York
Paul Benjamin ... Bartender - New York
Peter Scalia ... Vegetable Grocer - New York
Vito Siracusa ... Vegetable Grocer - New York
Peter Zamagias ... Hat Shop Owner - New York
Arthur Anderson ... Hotel Clerk - New York
Tina Scala ... Laundromat Lady - New York
Alma Felix ... Laundromat Lady - New York
Richard Clarke ... Escort Service Man - New York
Ann Thomas ... The Frantic Lady - New York
Paul Rossilli ... Hansel McAlbertson - The Party (as Gastone Rossilli)

Viva ... Gretel McAlbertson - The Party
Ultra Violet ... The Party
Paul Jabara ... The Party
International Velvet ... The Party
Cecelia Lipson ... The Party

Taylor Mead ... The Party

Paul Morrissey ... The Party
Joan Murphy ... The Waitress - Florida
Al Stetson ... Bus Driver - Florida
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pat Ast ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Bernice ... Dog Outside Warhol Party (uncredited)
Mary Boylan ... Old Lady in Subway (uncredited)
Philip Bruns ... Man in TV Montage (uncredited)

Randall Carver ... Rapist in Flashback (uncredited)
Marlene Clark ... Girl at Party (uncredited)
Robert Dahdah ... Bus Passenger (uncredited)
William Door ... Man at Party (uncredited)

Sandy Duncan ... Woman in TV Montage (uncredited)
Trent Gough ... Man at Lunch Counter (uncredited)
Paul Jasmin ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Jay Morran ... Pimp (uncredited)
Waldo Salt ... Joe Pyne on TV Show (uncredited)
Renee Semes ... Hippie in Coffee Shop (uncredited)
Alan Stetson ... Bus Driver Fla (uncredited)
Jeffrey Walker ... Hippie #3 (uncredited)

M. Emmet Walsh ... Bus Passenger (uncredited)

Bill Walters ... St. Bernard Owner (uncredited)
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Directed by
John Schlesinger 
Writing credits
Waldo Salt (screenplay)

James Leo Herlihy (based on the novel by)

Produced by
Jerome Hellman .... producer
Kenneth Utt .... associate producer
Original Music by
John Barry (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Adam Holender (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Hugh A. Robertson (film editor)
Casting by
Marion Dougherty (uncredited)
Production Design by
John Robert Lloyd 
Set Decoration by
Philip Smith  (as Phil Smith)
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
Makeup Department
Irving Buchman .... make-up
Bob Grimaldi .... hairdressing
Dick Smith .... makeup consultant
Production Management
Fred C. Caruso .... assistant production manager (as Fred Caruso)
Hal Schaffel .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Burtt Harris .... second unit director
Terence A. Donnelly .... first assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Willis Conner .... assistant art director
Edward Garzero .... master scenic artist (as Ed Carzero)
William J. Gerrity .... construction grip
Edward Swanson .... head carpenter (as Ed Swanson)
Sound Department
Vincent Connelly .... sound editor
Jack Fitzstephens .... sound editor
Abe Seidman .... sound
Dick Vorisek .... sound mixer
Stephen Fitzstephens .... foley artist (uncredited)
James Perdue .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Robert Rogow .... boom operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Joshua White .... special lighting effects (as Joshua Light Show)
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard C. Kratina .... camera operator (as Dick Kratina)
Norman Leigh .... chief electrician
Michael Mahony .... key grip (as Mike Mahony)
Willie Meyerhoff .... chief electrician
Tom Priestley Jr. .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Max Soloman .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Richard P. Cirincione .... assistant editor (as Richard Cirincione)
Keith Parrish .... color timer: new negative (25th anniversary restoration)
Ed Rothkowitz .... assistant editor (as Edward Rothkowitz)
Len Saltzberg .... assistant editor (as Leonard Saltzberg)
Music Department
John Barry .... music supervision
Toxey French .... musical production
Garry Sherman .... arranger and conductor
Toots Thielemans .... musician: harmonica played by (as Jean 'Toots' Thielemans)
Ronald Frangipane .... musician: keyboards (uncredited)
Walter E. Sear .... musician: electronic music, Sear Electronic Music Production (uncredited)
Other crew
Michael Childers .... assistant to the director
Jim Clark .... creative consultant
Pablo Ferro .... graphic effects
Nicholas Sgarro .... continuity (as Nick Sgarro)
Jeff Kanew .... trailer (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Jim B. Smith .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
113 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:18 | Australia:M | Brazil:16 | Canada:18A (Canadian Home Video rating) | Canada:14A (Manitoba) (DVD rating) | Canada:PA (Manitoba) (original rating) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia/Ontario) | Canada:18+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | Finland:K-15 (new rating: 2001) | France:-12 | Iceland:16 | Italy:VM18 | Japan:PG12 (2010) | Netherlands:12 (re-rating) | New Zealand:R18 | Norway:18 | Norway:15 (TV rating) | Peru:18 | Portugal:M/16 (Qualidade) | Singapore:M18 | South Korea:15 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:18 (video rating) (1988) | USA:TV-MA (TV rating) | USA:X (original rating) | USA:R (re-rating) (1971) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

In 1971, United Artists successfully reissued this film in the USA on a double bill with Women in Love (1969).See more »
Crew or equipment visible: Ceilingless set and lighting equipment can be briefly seen in several shots in Cass' bedroom.See more »
[first lines]
Joe Buck:Whoopee-tee-yi-yo. Get along little dogies. It's your misfortune and none of my own.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Ghost Image (2007)See more »
Tears and JoysSee more »


Did Joe kill Towny?
What is 'Midnight Cowboy' about?
What is the name of the song played at the psychedelic party?
See more »
71 out of 100 people found the following review useful.
Much better than expected, 5 December 2004
Author: MovieAddict2014 from UK

I sat down to watch "Midnight Cowboy" thinking it would be another overrated '60s/'70s movie. Some of my favorite films come from the '70s, in the same vein as "Midnight Cowboy" ("Taxi Driver," "Mean Streets," "Panic in Needle Park," etc.) but there are many, many overrated ones as well that have gained strong reputations amongst critics for being groundbreaking - unfortunately a vast majority of them don't hold up as well today. I sort of feel this way about "Easy Rider." (Although it, too, is one of my favorites.)

So, I didn't expect much from "Midnight Cowboy" but got a lot back. It's a touching story, well-made and well-told with some of the best performances of all time. Dustin Hoffman, as Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo, gives one of his best - it's a bit funny at times (he sounds like a cartoon character when he speaks - maybe because of the Lenny/"Simpsons" connection), but Hoffman is entirely convincing. Half of the film's budget went towards his paycheck as he was just becoming a major star in Hollywood. Opposite him is the second-billed Jon Voight as Joe Buck, the "cowboy" who travels North to the Big Apple in the hopes of becoming a male prostitute. Soon his naive ways land him in trouble and he pairs up with a crippled scam artist named "Ratso" - who offers to become Joe's "manager" for a certain percentage of profits.

The movie is quite long at two hours but never really seems very long. Some films can tend to drag, especially some of the films that were made in the '70s because (as it's been said in "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls") the directors were the stars of the movies in the 1970s and occasionally they got a bit too infatuated with their material, going on too long examining characters/scenes/etc. that aren't important. Just about the only scene I felt was a bit too long and unnecessary was the drug party - it makes the film seem extremely outdated (similar to the drug odysseys in "Easy Rider") and really harms its flow because it's not needed.

Other than that, "Midnight Cowboy" is an almost flawless motion picture. I was pleasantly surprised. It does have its flaws (flashbacks are a bit tacky and never used as well as they could have been, for instance) and some of the scenes are a bit uneasy (such as the gay movie theater sequence) but if you can handle its content "Midnight Cowboy" is a truly great motion picture, an uncompromising examination of life on the streets in the late '60s/early '70s. It's a depressing movie, yes, and by today's standards might seem a bit outdated and heavy on the liberal perspective of "life is horrible, etc."...but I still love it and particularly the extremely touching ending will stay with me for a long, long time.

Highly recommended. One of the best films of the '70s. (It was technically released in late 1969 but I'd still categorize it as a 1970s film. It also won the Best Picture Oscar, being the first - and only - X-rated motion picture to do so. It was later re-rated R on appeal.)


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The top double lead performances ever in American film jrl0726
Ultra Violet, a beauty at the party, died June 14 tremas-1
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